Endurance for the Writing Journey
Blogger: Mary Keeley
Authors who achieve their dream of publication share certain habits and traits that bolster their endurance for the long journey to publication and then throughout their publishing career. Negative criticism, discouraging news in the industry, and frustrating delays can erode the most positive spirit, but these authors have learned ways to persevere.
Realize that negative criticism will happen. In what area of your real life have you never experienced criticism? It’s part of the learning, growing, performing process of life. Two facts about negative criticism: It is never comfortable, and no one will ever be entirely free from it on this earth. When it happens to you—and it will, more than once in your writing journey—it’s the most productive advice you can receive when it’s delivered with understanding meant to encourage you to stay the course.
Successful authors have developed habits to respond positively to negative comments. Consider it a free professional critique when the agent or editor you submitted to offers generous feedback on your work. Train yourself to respond this way: He or she took considerable time to read, evaluate, and point out areas for improvement. I’ve been given a gift to help me make my book better. Successful writers take the advice seriously, read books on the recommended areas for improvement, and apply their growing craft to their manuscript. You may experience multiple such successes on your road to publication.
Look for positive news in the industry. More than once last year news in the industry was discouraging. Successful writers respond by continuing to improve their writing and to recognize positives in industry news. Results of a recent study, “The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for U.S. Book Manufacturers and Printers,” were released in December. Some surprising results have positive nuances if you are looking for them. Quoting from the report:
- Almost 70 percent of consumers feel it is unlikely they will give up on printed books by 2016. Lack of eye strain, the look and feel of paper, and the ability to add it to a library or bookshelf were the top reasons.
- College students prefer printed textbooks to eBooks as they help students to concentrate on the subject matter at hand.
- Even the largest publishers derive revenues of no more than 20-30 percent from eBook sales. This means 70-80 percent continues to come from printed books.
This is good news for bookstores. It also is good news for publishers, and for the industry in general because these findings show that reading habits aren’t evolving as quickly as once anticipated. And the longer this is the case, the more time publishers have to adjust to changes. Read the complete report here.
Patience will always be needed for the writing journey. Waiting mode doesn’t end when you finally get your first contract. In the case of one client her manuscript had been on hold for several months awaiting final acceptance by the publisher. The two editors involved gave conflicting direction to my client about the elements to include in her devotionals. Her patience through that episode fueled her endurance to maintain a willing do-whatever-it-takes attitude.
How vibrant is your endurance for the writing journey? Which area do you need to develop most? How do you actively train yourself for endurance in the process?
Successful authors share several habits that foster endurance for the journey. Click to Tweet.
Negative criticism will happen in your writing career. Three habits will give you the endurance you need. Click to Tweet.